Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why Run? Reason No. 11

Today was supposed to be Robinson's Fit Buddy Run but due to incoming storm, the race organizers cancelled the race.

Instead of running a race, I ran by myself around BGC area.  

With my small shorts pocket, I was able to fit into it my claim stub for Adidas KOTR 2013 race kit and some receipts to avail of free Happy Lemon drinks (via an existing credit card promo) and that served as my hydration drinks!

Hence, Reason No. 11: To Do Some Errands!

Of course, it isn't that easy as I have to run home while holding the race kit with me but at least I saved on gas, parking fees and burned some calories too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Race: World Vision Run 21km


As preparations go, this was one of my most unprepared races to join in as only thought about joining the 21km race on Friday morning, two days before the actual race.  I wasn’t able to get any race kits on Friday afternoon when I went to the registration area in BGC so I gave up on joining this race and figured I should just run 10km on Saturday morning and another 10km on Sunday morning by myself.  This would serve as my only runs for the entire week (with the nice cool weather, it’s better to stay in bed than to run).

But through a series of messages to the World Vision facebook page, I managed to secure a 21km slot for Sunday.   I ran 5km on Saturday morning (while pushing stroller with my daughter inside) to loosen the legs and to prepare me somewhat for Sunday’s race.  Legs felt fine although I was a bit out of breath when I tried running faster at the last 700 meters (stroller and daughter I dropped off at my house at 3km mark).

I ate a heavy dinner and hope that would be enough for Sunday’s race and slept early that night as race would commence at 4:30AM.


I was late once again and didn’t have time to do any stretching before the race.  At least I was just 2 minutes late so I was able to catch up with some runners quickly.  I felt good and ran off too fast at the first few kilometers before realizing I had a long way to go and slowed down consciously so that I wouldn’t burn out.

With the race starting at 4:30am, it was dark enough for us runners, which was a huge advantage as hot sunny weather usually makes us slower.  There were a lot of people who were just going home from clubs while we were out running already.  A lot of angry motorists as marshals prevented them from going off and said marshals let runners cross the intersections first.

21km route map

The race took us to various parts of BGC before we headed to Kalayaan Bridge and onto Buendia Avenue.  At this point, I still felt good but I was getting hungry!  With nothing to eat, I drank two cups of Gatorade at every station and hoped that was enough to quench my hunger (figured it should be better than water as it had calories and sugar should give me energy too!).

Nicky, my batch mate from high school, caught up with me (he was 10 minutes late for the race) and wanted to run with me.  So we ran together and exchanged stories and whatnots for the last 7km of the race.  There were parts in the race where I would stop running and walked instead.  I told Nick that he could go ahead if he wanted to.  But he also stopped to walk with me. 

I kept drinking Gatorade at every second station and pretty soon, I was too full with drinking that I kept burping and I wanted to vomit too!  So I was hungry for food but full with drinking too much!  What a contradiction!!! Nick got worried and asked if I was okay.  “Yes, but I need to walk it off”. 

 But with only 4 kms to go, I didn’t want to walk too long and started running again.  The final walk that we did was going up Kalayaan Bridge and once that ended, we continued running all the way to BGC.  

Kalayaan Bridge
I did have an “emergency” GU gel with me but figured with the distance this close to the finish line that I won’t use it anymore and just take sips of Gatorade.  But I ended up drinking a lot again! Haha!

At the last 2km, I walked some more!  Even at the final turn, where I saw the finish line, I stopped to walk again!  But my pace was pretty good and I know that I would get a PR for the year.

Exhausted at last 200 meters to finish line!

So I ran again and ran hard for the final 400 meters to the finish line, crossed it, stopped my Garmin watch and received a finisher medal.  I was a bit dizzy and tired.  Nick crossed the finish line right after and we congratulated each other.

Nick looking strong, me looking tired! Haha!

We each got a bottle of water and Gatorade and I told Nick that I need to sit down somewhere (which ended up at the parking lot).  I was exhausted and I felt acidic in my stomach and knew that I had to eat something.  I saw Nick at the parking lot (we ended up parking near each other) and had a few more talks before going home.

fave photo from this race!  Thanks "Run for Good Health"!

bloggers together Post-race!

But before going home, I rewarded my 21km PR for 2013 by buying a Starbucks Green Tea Frap!  When I got home, I was still too tired and lied down on the bedroom floor.  I was too tired to move!  It definitely wasn’t a good feeling.  Per prepared me breakfast and served it on the floor!  Haha!  I felt a lot better after eating. Phew!

This was a great race by Runrio and World Vision Philippines.  There were enough water stations and I liked the fact that they were all served cold.  I also prefer Gatorade versus other sport drinks so this was a nice bonus too.  The finisher medal was a nice reward for your achievement and this race had a very good cause underlying it.  I also appreciate that there were a lot of photographers in the race, with some volunteering their time and effort for this event.

Good job to the organizers!

Praise God for getting me home safely with a new PR for the year as well!  (The PR was a very nice bonus as didn't expect it considering this was an impromtpu race and I had no preparations and no running for most of the week for it.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Shoe Reward for 50km Race

For some reason, I have been getting into buying some cool kicks and one of the brands that I like is Onitsuka Tiger (same people behind Asics brand).  Their shoes are quite comfortable and fashionable too. 


I don't want to always buy shoes... we don't have that much space or money (plus the fact that my wife would KILL me).

So, in order to get some new shoes, I have a rule - it can only be bought once I deserved it and that is by completing a road race (with a minimum distance of 21km). 

So, does that mean I could buy two pair of shoes if I complete an ultra marathon with a distance of 50km or above?  Hmmmm..... Probably!

Nevertheless, I did buy one pair of shoes (well, technically, I had Alvin buy it for me) and I got it even before the race started!  Yes, I was afraid I would run out of sizes post-race but to be fair, I kept the box (with the shoes inside) in a corner of our bedroom and only opened it once I finished the 50km race.

Having a Shoe reward also added to my motivation that I should complete the race.  Failure to do so means I can't use the shoes until I complete another long race!

So it was like Christmas in the house for Yours Truly.  And what kind of Onitsuka shoes did I get?  Well, in the sample picture above, it's not an ordinary pair of shoes....

For one thing,   there's "42.195km" written on its side, and ANY runner would know what that meant!

Then, there's Paris written on the back part of the shoe.

Inside the shoes is a route map of, what else, the Paris Marathon!

Granted, I haven't ran that race before, but I did join and complete some full marathons so this was just an AWESOME pair of shoes especially for the exclusive marathon club that a lot of us belong to!!

Aside from the Paris edition, there is also the New York Marathon and Tokyo Marathon (limited edition) Onitsuka shoes.

I am definitely happy with my shoe reward but now I'm thinking of one thing every time I put it on:

When will I do Paris Marathon?


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

1st Laguna to Quezon Ultramarathon (53km)

Near the finish line at Lucban, Quezon

When I first read about this race via facebook, I immediately texted Alvin to say, “We got to do this!”  The reasons being:  1) It was held on my birthday and it should be an awesome and unforgettable birthday run, 2) It was a route neither of us had done yet – from Sta. Cruz, Laguna to Lucban, Quezon.  I didn’t even know how to get to Sta. Cruz, much less to Lucban with a car, and 3) It had a very generous cut-off time of 12 hours, which was achievable for us.

So we paid the P1,400 registration fee (which was cheap for a race this distance) and saw that we were part of more than 500 runners registered for this race.  The only requirement for joining the Laguna to Quezon (L2Q) Race was that you should be a 21km race finisher.

Our training for this race was to do 5 consecutive 10km runs the week before said race.  It was supposed to be 3 consecutive 20km runs but I got sick after doing RU2 32km and Alvin didn’t want me to get sick again so close to this event.

We also booked a family room in Asia Blooms hotel, which was just 5 minutes from the starting line and left Manila on Saturday afternoon to get to Sta. Cruz before night fall.  But we didn’t factor in the heavy traffic that day and by the time we got to our hotel, it was already past 8pm.


We woke up at 3:00AM and left the hotel at 4:10AM with the gun start time at 4:30AM!  And we still haven’t claimed our race bibs for this race.  Well, it was safe to say that we were late again for the gun start and were left behind by 98% of the runners.  But that’s okay as we have a long way to go and could catch up with some runners.

My strategy for this race was to cover as much distance as possible while the sun wasn’t out yet.  I always have a hard time when it gets too hot and had difficulty in running continuously.  So much for this strategy as we walked the first kilometer of this race!  Haha!  There were a lot of support vehicles on the road and they caused traffic at 4:30 in the morning!

Our support crew is a team of one, the same person who supported us for BDM so she is quite used to it already... thanks Lani!  Aside from relying on our support crew, I have two GU Gels in my running belt and Php 100 in cash for emergency and Alvin had a bottle of water with him.

The first pit stop for the support car was at 5km and as we neared it, I saw my car parked on the right side of the road.  As I got closer (and getting excited to drink something cold), the car suddenly moved from the parked area and drove off!  I was shocked!  Where was it going?  Alvin was behind me and I stood there dumbfounded and just stared at the road.  In a state of panic, I told Alvin that we got left behind! 

Luckily, we had our water and cash with us and we just kept on going, hoping that by the next 5km, we would see Lani again.  I ate a banana and two energy bars before the race started so that helped me too.

We got our wish sooner than expected as we saw our support car heading back at 9km mark.  Lani, in a state of panic herself, thought that we had passed the 5km mark without seeing the car so she drove off and looked for us and waited for us at 10km mark before she realized we weren’t there yet, and then made a U-Turn back for us. 

caught up with some runners

At this point, the first of the countless hilly climbs had began and we didn’t know yet what to expect.  Our plan for ALL the hill climbs was to walk on them and then run the downhill portions of the road.  That would keep us strong and not make us tired from the effort.  What we didn’t know was how long the hill stretched on the road.  It was long and steep!  Everyone walked here! And the road kept going up, made a left turn, then climbed up again.  It was insane!  Our average pace of 7:30 minutes per kilometer had gone to 10 minutes per kilometer and there was no end in sight!  This was the deadly Laguna uphill road!  As we reached the summit of this mountain road after 5-7 km of walking, I was glad that it would go down and we could run again.  

That didn’t take too long as there was another uphill climb soon afterwards.  More walking and less running!

Our route took us through Pagsanjan and through Lake Caliraya where the view was spectacular.  There weren’t a lot of cars on the road and the weather was nice and cool.  The race organizers also put water stations every 10 km and that was helpful to us!  Best station was at 30km mark where we were served frozen ice-cream! 

Lani now met us every 7km and I used that time to eat something from the car, whether its bananas, pretzels, chips or energy bar, there was something I munched on.  We had cold sodas, Gatorade and water inside the car.  It looked like a mini-camp!  But it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared!  We gave runners chips and drinks too when they needed them.

Uphill climb at the corner

view from the top
At one point, it started to drizzle and that cooled us down but I was also antsy about it as I feared it would wet my socks and give me blisters.  The rain didn’t last long and when it stopped, the sun came out and it was hot!  I had to change to a shirt on the next stop at the car and Alvin told Lani to look for some ice for us.  The hot weather and more uphill climbs didn’t bode well for me (yes, the uphill climbs were still there).

There were a lot of local people on the streets, probably shocked at the craziness of what we were doing.  There were a lot of happy kids too and they looked forward to slapping our hands and cheering us on!

Original BDM Crew!  Thanks Lani and Alvin!  


Alvin waiting for me!

My food and drink of choice!

We slowly breached the halfway mark, then the 32km mark and surprisingly, I felt strong again. We met Lani every 5km at this point as the heat was getting to us.  Luckily, there were a lot of trees that gave us the much needed shade from the sun.

At the flat or downhill portions, we would go off running again.  At the last 8km based on my Garmin, I thought, “I could do this.”  Then, we saw a sign to Lucban, Quezon and it had the words 11 km written underneath it! 

“What’s going on?”, I thought to myself.  It felt like all the energy I had was just zapped out of my body. 

“I had to do 3km more to the 8km?!  Ugh!!!!”

But there was nothing else to do but keep on going.

Where's the finish line?

As we got closer and closer, Alvin said he would run ahead and look for the finish line and come back for me.  At this point, my Garmin had read 51km and there was no finish line in sight.  Alvin had also switched to slippers early on due to some pain on his foot.  But amazingly, he was able to run in them and at a rate faster than me!

Happy it's going to end soon!

A lot of runners walked now but I wanted it to end quickly so I could rest and sit down so I ran instead.  There were some runners heading back to us and wearing the finisher shirts.  “Where’s the finish line?”, I asked two of them.  “You are near.  It’s just where those small flags are” and he pointed to the horizon. 

“But that was still far!”  At least I could see the flags and that pushed me to close the gap further. 

Then I crossed the bridge and the road went up again.  “Seriously?  Another uphill climb? This was insane!” 

I walked.

I saw a lot of cars now, and Alvin headed back for me and I knew I was close.  So I went off again and was so glad to see that I was going to finish this race.  There was no actual finish line but somebody handed me the trophy while another person put a medal around my neck and I knew that I had finished the race.

Give me my goodies!

birthday gift to myself



My Garmin Time was at 8:38:08 with a pace of 9:46 minutes/ km and a total distance of 53 km.  My trophy was ranked no 352 out of a possible 500 runners.  Not bad at all!

couldn't have done any of it without these two AWESOME PEOPLE!!!

Thanks Alvin and Lani for an awesome time and for the great support...on Father's Day of all days!

Kudos to Runmania (race organizers) for pulling off a very successful Ultra Marathon - for P1,400, we each received a finisher certificate, finisher medal, trophy and lunch.  There were also marshals at crucial turning points, a roving Ambulance, a roving marshal on motor bike, cold water, cold Gatorade, hard boiled eggs, GU gels and ice cream at various aid stations!  This has got to be the best Ultra Marathon for me to date!

Challenge accepted and Conquered!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

2nd 50km Race - Challenge Accepted!

Route Map

June 16 ,2013 - For my 36th Year of existence, I would start it with a super long run of a distance of 50 kilometers from Santa Cruz, Laguna to Lucban, Quezon via the L2Q 50km Race.  Not yet sure how I am going to do this as all I did was a series of 10km super slllllooooow runs a few days ago.  I did join and finished the RU2 32km race but burned out/ hit the wall as early as 10km and 70% walked the remaining 22km.  So that wasn't a good race for me (obviously).

This race would have A LOT OF UPHILL CLIMBS and weather could be a challenge too (strong rains or hot sunny weather).

In any case, I won't be doing this alone (what am I... Crazy?).  It will be the original BDM Crew as Alvin will run/ walk with me and his wife Lani will be our support crew.  The quest for the finisher medal and finisher trophy begins soon!  Challenge Accepted!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

News: Adidas KOTR Singlet and Medal Pictures

Here are some teaser pictures on the singlets and finisher medals for the upcoming Adidas King of the Road on July 7, 2013.

Blue singlet for men...

And women!

A new medal design!  Front view!

And back view!

Awesome Stuffs!  Can't wait!